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Full text of "Dancing, beauty, and games"









j i \ CD c B 



RIVERSIDE 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 



LADY CONSTANCE STEWART RICHARDSON 
From a Photograph by the White Studios 



DANCING, BEAUTY 



AND 



GAMES 



By 

Lady Constance Stewart Richardson 



LONDON 

ARTHUR L. HUMPHREYS 

187 PICCADILLY, VV. 

1 9*3 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



Physical Culture . 


1 


Games .... 


17 


Beauty .... 


27 


Teachers .... 


43 


Dancing .... 


55 


Swimming .... 


63 


Big Game Shooting 


77 


Religion .... 


97 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Lady Constance Stewart Hicham 
A Good Pose . 
Uory Dancing 

RoKY, TORQUIL AND HaMISH 

Grotesque Toys 
Miss Isadora Duncan 
Mad ,le Adeline Genee . 
Madame Karsavina . 



Barefooted Dancing after the Greek 
Style .... 

English Position in Air while Diving 

Swedish Swallow Dive . 



)SON Frontispiece 
facing page I 
<S 
„ 12 
„ 34 
„ 50 
„ 58 
„ 60 



02 
04 
0(3 



Ml 



DANCING, BEAUTY 
AND GAMES 

PHYSICAL CULTURE 

TO try and write about Physical Culture 
without linking it on to Mental and 
Moral Culture would be of little use or 
interest, as these three cannot be divided and 
good come from them, any more than a tree 
can be separated from its bark and leaves 
and live. It is true that many have realised 
the great and undeniable truth that Physical 
Culture properly used is also mental culture, 
but it is also true that the masses are 
absolutely ignorant of this fact, and merely 
think that the person who believes so is a 
harmless lunatic. That it is within the 
means of the majority to have a powerful 
weapon to combat sins and vice that at 

1 b 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

present go rampantly on their way, I do 
most sincerely believe, and that weapon is 
a right understanding of the effect which 
Physical Culture has on the mind and body ; 
and that ignorance of this weapon is almost 
universal amongst the masses is due to the 
fact that those who are at the head of 
things do not understand and will not listen 
to those who do, or take the time and 
trouble to find out the root of the evils 
which exist to such an enormous extent, 
especially throughout towns. 

That this subject has been handled before 
by far more skilled writers than myself T 
know well, but in most of the articles on 
Physical Culture there is a great dislike to 
tackling the serious side of the question, 
and my excuse for doing so is that I have 
spent all my life or rather all my thinking 
life in enquiring into and trying to under- 
stand the effect Physical Culture has on the 
mind, and that this effect is tremendous no 
one who knows anything about the subject 
can doubt. The more artificial life becomes, 

2 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

the more necessary it is to fight the evils 
which arise from this artificial condition, 
and personally I am all for fighting arti- 
ficiality with nature. Nature, if under- 
stood, seldom fails ns. Many hundreds of 
thousands of pounds are spent annually on 
hospitals, homes for the feeble-minded, &c. ; 
if only a few of those thousands were ex- 
pended in our schools, and in the proper 
teaching of the young, surely in a couple 
of generations a great many of the former 
institutions would be empty. And until 
it is understood that to help the human 
race towards real health, and the happiness 
that marches hand in hand with that health, 
it is necessary to attack and demolish 
the amazing system of wicked ignorance 
which has our young in its grip — both rich 
and poor — these institutions will be needed. 
For long it has been the cry, give every 
one a fair chance, and I do most sincerely 
believe that it is possible to give that chance 
by turning out into the world self-respect- 
ing men and women mentally and physically 

3 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

developed in the manner that I believe 
God meant us all to be ; and not maimed 
body and soul by the course of instruction 
we have been put through before we are 
thrown out on our own resources to struggle 
blindly through our lives as best we may 
in a semi-developed condition, mentally and 
physically : some of us perhaps to learn 
what a fine thing we could have made of 
life if only we had known and understood 
sooner. That moral feebleness allied to 
real vice is tremendously on the increase 
in large towns, cannot be denied ; also that 
a great deal of it has its beginning in school- 
life is well known, just as it is realised by 
thinking people that very little effort is 
made either to enquire into the cause of 
it or find a remedy. It seems to be taken 
for granted that if a young boy or girl shows 
moral feebleness there is nothing much to 
be done except to hope that they will 
not be found out and disgraced. I know 
well that to cure immorality in the young 
once it has established itself, is difficult, 

4 



A GOOD POSH 
From a Photograph by Andrew Paterson, Inverness 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

though not by any means hopeless. Cures 
always are difficult and take time ; therefore 
prevention is so much simpler: and certainly 
a great deal, if not all, of this immorality 
could be prevented if Physical Culture and 
its true effects on body and mind were 
understood, and the teaching of a right 
system was insisted on in all places where 
the young gather together. 

Let me try and explain what I mean 
by a right system. It is not just a different 
way of exercising the arms, legs, and body. 
There are many most admirable methods 
of Physical Culture, composed and pro- 
pounded by men who thoroughly under- 
stand the human body and its needs. But 
what I think is wanting in our teaching 
of the young when we teach them at all, is 
the giving of any reason as to why they 
should exercise regularly ; beyond the rather 
feeble fact that they will most likely feel 
better if they do. Give children a true 
reason for doing anything and they will 
hold on to it throughout life, and the true 

5 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

reason for Physical Culture surely is that 
God has given you a body and a brain to 
develop to the best of your ability, and 
that when the time comes to render them 
back again to your Maker you will be able 
to do so with no sense of shame. Instil 
this into the young and it is wonderful 
how they understand and reverence the 
thought. To merely tell children that it 
is jolly to have big muscles and be stronger 
than their neighbours, will certainly urge 
them on for the moment, but these reasons 
have little strength or help in them if there 
is a temptation to be overcome, and to 
continue to use them is but building upon 
sand. 

Children are born idealists, and surely 
it ought to be the duty of all to make those 
ideals higher and of a strength that will 
last through life. The only ideal that the 
average child has nowadays is 'how to 
get on,' and in the getting on if the other 
fellow goes to the wall no matter ; the 
ideal of Physical and Mental culture ought 

6 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

to be of the highest and the greatest purity, 
and it is only possible to instil this into 
the very young. All chance of pure thinking 
as regards the body is generally entirely 
shattered by nurses and parents before a 
child reaches four or &ve years of age : its 
body is made a shameful thing to hide as 
much as possible and never to be referred 
to. If you want to feel real shame, and 
understand the impure manner in which 
the body is regarded, watch small children 
in any well-to-do nursery being washed by 
their nurses ; instead of being taught that 
their body is a beautiful and sacred thing 
and one of God's greatest works, they are 
made to believe it is a shameful thing. 
Little harmless questions that all children 
ask and which ought to get straight, sensible 
answers, are greeted with giggles or winks, 
and the child is told not to ask naughty 
questions. Thus at the beginning of their 
lives is planted the little, creeping, insidious, 
dirty growth. All children will think about 
their bodies, it is right and natural that 

7 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

they should do so ; only those thoughts 
must be guided into pure, sensible channels, 
not left in black ignorance, except for the 
unclean hints dropped by many who, to 
our shame be it said, have children in their 
charge. 

To instil pure-mindedness, a child from 
the moment it can understand must be 
taught to take a proper pride in its body, 
then when come to man or woman's full 
growth, a clean-minded, healthy, happy, 
human being will be the result, and during 
the always more or less difficult age before 
full growth is reached there need be little 
fear of the dangers and temptations which 
as a rule beset the young. 

If from early youth it was explained 
and impressed on the young of both sexes, 
that it was a real sin against God to allow 
their minds to become a mass of sensuality, 
and that the mind becoming like this means 
that the body has been neglected, and the 
only right remedy for body and mind is 
proper exercise and a proper understanding 

8 



RORY DANCING 
From a Photograph by Andrew Paterson 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

of what to eat and what to avoid in eating 
and drinking, what a help it would be to 
them. As a rale this is never explained 
to the young, and surely its great import- 
ance ought to be understood at least by 
those who have children in their charge. 
The ordinary man or woman fighting the 
temptations which arise from the artificial 
conditions of life, are as helpless from their 
ignorance and neglect of the human body 
as a man naked fighting against one fully 
armed. 

There are a certain number of men and 
women who are strong-minded enough to 
be able to take up physical exercises late 
in life and get a considerable amount of 
good from them, but with the majority un- 
less the exercises are a habit from early 
youth, they find them a bore after the 
novelty has worn off, and they are eventually 
dropped altogether. It is a very great effort 
for a man or woman who has neglected any 
regular exercise all their lives, to get up 
in the morning and perform a certain set 

9 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

amount. But if a child is trained almost 
from infancy to do this, and made to 
understand that it is quite as dirty to 
neglect the body or to put dirty (otherwise 
unwholesome) food into it, as it is to walk 
about with unwashed teeth, they no more 
think of neglecting the care of the one 
than they do of the other. Therefore, per- 
sonally, I always train my own children to 
exercise ten minutes every morning before 
their baths; not that it is a real necessity 
when living an open-air life, but that I feel 
the habit will go with them through life 5 
also that the time may come when having 
to be in town it may prove of incalculable 
value. At present they would no more 
think of missing their exercises than they 
would their baths. 

Again, I think great help against the 
bad and harmful habits of drinking and 
smoking can be given, if a child is 
taught that his body is a beautiful and 
precious trust, and that to soil and harm 
it by the accumulation of bad and artificial 

10 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

habits is to commit a real sin, and also 
shows a considerable lack of intelligence if 
commenced with open eyes and under- 
standing. Also, if the explanation is given 
of how these habits grow and take hold, 
if once started, and how a liking for them 
becomes quickly ingrained, I am quite sure 
that boys and girls would no more make 
a habit of these harmful things than they 
would cheat at cards— as in one case you 
are behaving dishonourably to your fellow- 
men, in the other you are betraying a 
trust given into your hands by God ; surely 
the latter ought to be made of as much 
importance as the former. It is all very 
well to say that smoking and drinking in 
moderation harm no one ; perhaps not, but 
the difficulty of keeping them in moderation 
is very great, particularly when troubles 
come along, which even if they be mole- 
hills in reality, to the young are always 
mountains, and it seems somewhat foolish 
to learn and encourage an artificial habit 
which may at any time prove a most 

11 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

dangerous enemy, and is certainly not 
missed if never begun. 

I also feel most strongly that it will be 
an impossibility to make Physical Culture 
what it ought to be until a radical change 
is made in present-day clothing for both 
sexes. 

Revolutionise the clothing of children 
and all would be well, as if sanely clad 
during their growing years, they certainly 
would not submit in later life to the absurd 
garments worn by their parents. 

I do not suggest that every one should 
go about in Greek tunics, as this garment is 
not very suitable to our grey climate ; but 
there is a far cry between a Greek tunic 
and an Eton suit, for instance. That the 
garments children often have to wear are 
responsible for a great deal of immorality 
I am certain, and they are on the whole 
most insanitary, great carriers of germs, 
and intensely uncomfortable as well. There 
has certainly been a slight move for the 
better amongst some who have stopped 

12 



RORY, TORQUIL AND HAMISH 
From a Photograph by Andrew Paterson 



PHYSICAL CULTUKE 

their children wearing hats ; thus giving 
them a chance to grow up without chronic 
headaches, and to have beautiful hair. Also 
a few now give their children a shoe that 
does not deform their feet as in the past, 
but even now it is very rarely that one 
sees a child over ten years of age with 
toes that are not crooked ; for it does not 
seem to be realised the tremendous pace 
a child's foot grows between the ages of 
two and fifteen; therefore if only sandals 
were used for growing children such a lot 
of pain and expense might be saved ; a 
sandal showing at once if it is too small, 
and also is much cheaper to replace than 
shoes, or those still greater iniquities, boots, 
which cramp the muscles of the legs and 
stop the ankle muscles from gaining growth 
and strength. 

I know that many people will contend 
that the mental impurity I have spoken of 
is the exception and not the rule. I can 
but ask these people to spend an afternoon 
in the sculpture room at a museum or in 

13 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

a picture gallery, and watch the majority 
of those who come through and see the 
nudes in either marble or on canvas. Apart 
from a few serious art students there are 
generally two types, the one who passes 
by with averted head and downcast eyes, 
getting slightly red in doing so ; these are 
generally men or women very religious from 
the world's point of view, and with sad, 
contracted minds. They pray, but at the 
same time they have made up their minds 
that one of God's most splendid works is 
a shameful thing to be covered up, neglected 
and forgotten as much as possible. 

The other type is the man or woman 
who comes to stare and giggle, and nudge 
with coarse innuendo and joke. These are 
more awful than the others to watch, as they 
are alive with a horrible wakefulness coming 
from minds that are merely cesspools. 

And with both types the same cause is 
at work in different ways. They cannot 
see a naked figure either in life, painting, 
or sculpture without bringing in the sex 

14 



PHYSICAL CULTURE 

question. They can see no beauty, as it is 
obscured by the grime of their minds. 

Surely a state of things to make one 
stand aghast with bent and shamed head. 

I do not think I ever realised fully the 
extreme impurity that is rife through the 
minds particularly of those who live in 
towns until I went on to the stage, and 
took up classical dancing seriously. Then 
there used to pour in upon me a stream 
of letters of such a terrible kind that one 
wondered it were possible for any living 
being who had a soul to write such things, 
and in those days came to me a great and 
sincere wish to help on in any way possible 
the work of trying to establish a system of 
Physical and Mental Culture that should 
give the children their fair chance in life ; 
for rich and poor there ought to be but 
one system, and that instilled in a manner 
to give to them a knowledge and reverent 
love of all that is God's work, to bring 
within the reach of all the chance to keep 
the body beautiful outwardly and clean 

15 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

inwardly, and to fill the mind with high 
ideals and a fine knowledge of men and 
books. May we all try and make it more 
possible and easier for the little children 
to walk with firm and unfaltering footsteps 
the path that ours have tottered so painfully 
along. 



16 



GAMES 

GAMES are nearly always regarded 
as recreation, though a few people 
take them seriously and work at them with 
a view to becoming professionals and earn- 
ing a livelihood in this manner. When I 
say they are used as a recreation, this is 
applicable to those people who play different 
games in a desultory fashion during the 
whole or part of the year ; showing as time 
passes curiously little improvement in their 
play. Plodding continuously on, but from 
what point of view it is difficult to under- 
stand, unless it be from a purely animal 
liking of being in the open air and the 
pleasure they derive from following after, 
hitting, or kicking a ball. One cannot be- 
lieve that they can get any pleasure from 

17 c 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

the competition arising in games, as they 
never strive to improve their play. Many 
I know have devoted several hours weekly 
for a long time to a game, but they play 
no better or very slightly better now than 
when they commenced. 

If one remarks on the rather curious 
mental condition a person must be in to act 
like this, the reply generally is, ' Every one 
cannot play games well. A good eye is 
necessary,' &c. Certainly that is so, but a 
good eye is mostly training and practice like 
any other muscle control. Surely if a thing 
is worth doing at all it is worth doing well, 
and I think that any one who gives the 
matter a few moments' thought will agree 
that it is extremely harmful physically and 
mentally to go on doing a thing in the wrong 
way year after year. It denotes lack of 
concentration, lack of self-control, and a 
general mental sloppiness. Curiously enough 
these people are always the ones who con- 
tinually ask others to teach and help them 
to improve their play, but an endeavour to 

18 



GAMES 

do so is nearly always greeted with a laugh, 
and, 'Oh, yes, I see,' and they go steadily 
on with the same faults as before, though 
quite often showing that with a little con- 
centration and control they might have 
become admirable players. This class of 
game-player, I feel sure, has developed from 
the child who has been allowed to under- 
take its games and its work in a slipshod 
fashion, never being made to realise that if 
a game or a piece of work is taken up it 
should either be done well and completely or 
left alone. By this I naturally do not mean 
that all amateurs ought not to play a game 
unless they play it like a professional, but 
there is a very far cry between profession- 
alism and the slipshod game-player. The 
next type of man who plays games is the 
one who does so purely from the health- 
giving point of view and not from any real 
love of games, doing so most likely only 
when he is a bit off colour, and in vulgar 
parlance, wishes to have a good sweat ! A 
Turkish bath would have as good an effect, 

19 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

but he, like a good many others, cannot be 
bothered to seek after health unless his mind 
is stimulated and amused at the same time. 
He is not really of much interest from the 
game -playing point of view, as he enters 
into the world of games but little. 

At the opposite extreme is to be found the 
man who takes games seriously, though this 
type is really divided into two classes ; one 
who plays games to keep fit, and the other 
who keeps fit to play games. The latter, of 
course, are the men with a real devotion to 
games who spend little time doing any- 
thing else ; at all events, during the season 
when their own particular game is to the 
fore. The questions I think one is inclined 
to ask oneself, when seriously thinking over 
games, are : in what spirit ought games 
to be taken ? Are they a waste of time or 
not ? and are they of real good mentally and 
physically to the player ? I have always 
personally felt that games, regarded as they 
are at the present day, are extremely bad, 
but if taken in a sane and sensible fashion 

20 



GAMES 

ought to be of the greatest value. This is 
what I mean. Children when they start to 
play games are nearly always allowed to do so 
in a most haphazard manner ; for instance, 
a child who shows a strong fancy for games 
is often left to play them ad lib., only being 
reproved if his school-work suffers, and 
often a lenient eye is turned on all shirking 
of work if the shirker is found to have used 
the time for game- playing. It is rarely 
explained to him or her that games ought 
to be regarded as a recreation and an aid to 
health, also that if played they ought to be 
played properly at proper times. Shirking 
your other work to play them or playing 
them badly is misusing both your body and 
mind, and generally hurting yourself physi- 
cally and mentally. 

Games must be looked at in their proper 
proportion and once finished with not 
allowed to usurp the mind, as a man who 
makes games his sole thought throughout 
life is a sad person to meet. If the child 
who was backward and rather stupid at 

21 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

games was taken a little trouble with and 
equally taught with his more forward brother 
that games are to be regarded educationally 
like any other physical exercise, I think that 
as grown men they would both be improved. 
On the one hand, you would not find the man 
who does not play games at all, from having 
been told when a child that he was no 
use ; and on the other, the man who eats, 
thinks, talks, and sleeps games: but two 
human beings with the good health, concen- 
tration, quickness, and self-control which 
games properly used certainly bring, all of 
which are most admirable qualities having 
a very great effect on a man's life in 
all and every profession. A man of the 
above qualities, added to a clean outdoor 
sense of things, is far more apt to make 
a success of his life from the higher point 
of view than the one without them. Equally 
this reacts on his children. The man of 
control and understanding will most as- 
suredly see that his children are trained to 
have the same qualities. 

22 



GAMES 

I do not think it can be repeated too 
often what great harm can he done to 
children, and, alas ! is done both physically 
and mentally, by allowing them to play 
games at all times and in any manner they 
please. It is quite time it was realised that 
during the period the brain and body are 
developing, enormous care ought to be taken 
in the supervision of all bodily exercises, for 
that their effect is very great on the brain 
only the ignorant will deny. A child left to 
exercise itself at games will as a rule play 
till it is dead beat, thus undoing any good 
that might come to it from the exercise of 
its muscles and mind, as long before it has 
got to this stage of tiredness it will have 
been hitting wrong, running wrong, and 
forcing the heart to overwork. Mentally it 
will be over-excited, the eye will be strained, 
and the temper out of control. One of the 
great advantages of games is the teaching of 
tolerance and self-control, but when a thing 
is young and tender it does not do to bear 
too heavily on it. Whereas judicious exercise 

23 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

strengthens a weak thing, heavy work will 
merely spoil it, and in all probability ruin it 
for all time. How often one sees a child 
burst into tears for no obvious reason, 
become irritable and bad-tempered, and 
when bedtime comes lie awake for hours. 
The cause nearly always being the ignorance 
of teachers and parents who in their mis- 
taken kindness allow children to play games 
until they can hardly walk with fatigue. 
I have often been asked if I advocate games 
for children ; before the ages of ten or eleven 
years old I certainly do not, and between 
those ages and sixteen, I think games ought 
to be most carefully supervised and chosen, 
and for these reasons. From infancy up to 
eleven years is a most critical period, the 
most critical I personally believe in the 
whole life. When a young child is playing 
games it is most difficult, in fact almost 
impossible, to get it to remember several 
things at once. What I mean is this. 
A young child at this period is merely 
learning everything, how to walk, how to 

24 



GAMES 

run, and how to balance itself correctly. The 
meaning of perfect poise ought at this age 
to be installing itself into a child's mind ; in 
the excitement of the game a child as a rule 
tries to do too much, with the result that in 
a short space of time it will be walking badly 
and heavily, and running in an ugly, un- 
certain fashion. 

Then there are very few games which 
do not draw the body forward, contracting 
the chest, in consequence of which the 
breathing is restricted, which naturally 
renders the blood impure, this leading to a 
thousand troubles. Also I do not believe it 
is good or natural for any young undeveloped 
thing to be knocked about in the way that 
happens in a good many games, as the 
muscles and bones are soft and apt to be 
distorted easily. Children in a natural 
rough-and-tumble amongst themselves are 
no more likely to hurt themselves or each 
other than puppies or any other young 
animal at play, but bring in the competition 
and the unnatural excitement which creeps 

25 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

into games that after all are an artificial 
amusement, more harm than good is likely to 
result to children under sixteen years of age. 
After that age, regarded in their proper 
proportion, I think they are excellent. 
I am a firm believer for the young in in- 
dividual athletic exercises such as running, 
jumping, throwing the hammer, the discus, 
swimming and dancing, &c*, but under the 
eye always of an experienced person, as in 
these exercises it is possible to control and 
watch the work of each child, to see and 
teach that each muscle is developed in 
proper fashion, and by degrees the girl or 
boy will understand how to control the 
whole body in a perfect manner, each and 
every muscle hardening and enlarging to its 
full development. If this form of physical 
education is carried out from infancy, at 
sixteen years old a girl or boy ought to be 
fit to take up any game they may have a 
fancy for, reaping the great good that 
certainly may be got from games and 
equally avoiding the great harm. 

26 



BEAUTY 



TO instil a love of beauty into a child's 
mind at the commencement of its life 
is not necessary, as normal children will 
always hold out their hands and seek to 
draw towards them all that is beautiful, 
instinctively turning away and shrinking 
from the hideous and grotesque. But what 
is necessary is to foster, protect, and en- 
courage this natural gift, and it is only too 
evident that this necessity is not only 
neglected, but that the love of the hideous 
and grotesque is actually forced into the 
minds of the young, and the growth of 
that love helped on in every possible way. 
There are many who scoff at the belief 
that the love and true realisation of all 
beauty ought to be one of the most serious 

27 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

sides in the education of the young, but 
I think it would behove them to give a few 
hours' serious consideration to the subject, 
before dismissing it with one of the con- 
temptuous laughs that are so freely given 
by the people who have never taken the 
trouble to probe very deeply into any new 
effort or idea that may come their way. 
Not that the idea of instilling the love and 
understanding of beauty into the young is 
a new one, as in ancient Greece it was a 
recognised part of all education, but most 
certainly for many and many a generation 
it has never been given a thought to, except 
in isolated cases. I do not think it would 
be a waste of time if some of our best 
brains at the head of things would give 
some serious consideration from a purely 
common- sense point of view, as to whether 
it may not stand within the bounds of 
reason that a very large part of the 
decadence, vice, and educational failure is 
not largely due to the entire lack in that 
education of any effort being made to teach 

28 



BEAUTY 

the difference between the ugly and the 
beautiful. 

Sin and vice are strangely like unto 
ugliness and repulsiveness. Equally, clean- 
liness and culture of mind, body, and spirit 
are not mean reflectors of the beautiful. It 
is not difficult to realise that perhaps the 
neglect of teaching the one has a good deal 
to do with the existence of the other. That 
a most drastic change in this direction 
would be greatly for the benefit of all 
children I most firmly believe. The richest 
and the poorest ought to have the same 
chance of being allowed to keep that 
wonderful gift, a love of beauty, which is a 
heritage to all, and not to have it snatched 
away only to be replaced by that which will 
cause them to go mentally blind through life, 
missing all the joy which comes to those 
who can see with undimmed eyes the wonders 
that God has placed in the world for all. 

A love of the obviously beautiful I do 
not think is of any great help or value, 
though naturally better than entire blind- 

29 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

ness : to only admire what, so to speak, 
shrieks its beauty at you, takes no great 
understanding or discrimination. Neither 
does it take great powers of observation. 
Stone-blindness would have to be the 
portion of the man who was not more or 
less impressed by the Grand Canyon or 
Niagara Falls. But to see and rejoice over 
little pools with the light throwing different 
shadows, a drop of dew hanging on a 
blade of grass, or a myriad other miniature 
miracles, which happen around us day and 
night, takes a power of observation and 
realisation that lies only in the human being 
who has had his eye trained to observe and 
his mind to feel and rejoice in all beauty, 
whether it be great or small, the largely 
obvious or that which requires careful 
looking for. 

It cannot be denied that a power of 
observation is of great value in all walks 
of life ; allied to a powerful memory it is of 
still greater value. Both of these can be 
taught to a great extent by encouraging the 

30 



BEAUTY 

children in their love of the beautiful, which 
ought to be commenced in the observation 
and understanding of God's work in Nature. 
The millions of beautiful things by which 
He has surrounded us are generally entirely 
unnoticed and ignored by the average child, 
and the wonderful reading of that book of 
Nature He has laid before us to instruct 
and help, is indeed a closed book except to 
the very few. That Nature -study is taught 
in many schools I am fully aware, but it 
is taught as a rule in a purely scientific 
manner, which at once does away with any 
chance of establishing high ideals by its 
help. Flowers are pulled to pieces, their 
growth and formation explained; a drop of 
water is taken, placed under a microscope, 
and the germs in it pointed out. That this 
is excellent and ought to be known and 
understood by all, I do not for a moment 
deny, but its place is secondary; God's 
unspoken lesson of beauty in Nature is 
surely a far greater one than what man has 
found out about His work, and if this is the 

31 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

case, it seems to rue that the first lesson of 
all that ought to be taught to the young is 
to look for and find all the beauties expressed 
in Nature. The colours and the scent of the 
flowers, the way they group themselves, the 
fashion in which they turn and seek the sun ; 
to hear the music in the streams composed 
of a hundred different notes, to lie and 
watch the many changing lights and colours 
on running waters, to love the reflections in 
the pools and to learn to wander in that 
children's second land ' under the water,' or 
to watch in breathless wonder the ripple of 
the soft summer breezes across that dry 
land- sea, the bit of rough ground with tall 
grasses of many kinds in full bloom; some 
almost pigeon-blood in colour, others pure 
gold. To hear the voices of the wood-people 
complaining as the wind-god moving through 
the trees disturbs them, or in his anger storms 
along on wintry days and nights, calling out 
in his wrath to the thunder and lightning to 
come and join him on his noisy way. All 
idealistic and fanciful, no doubt. 

32 



BEAUTY 

But who will deny that the man or 
woman who can see and hear clearly the 
voices of Nature, and who has the power to 
weave happy, harmless fancies, is not a better 
and more pure-minded person than one who 
outside of his own profession can neither 
see nor hear, and if placed apart from that 
profession is helpless and miserably bored. 
If unhappiness comes to him in his chosen 
work, he knows not where to seek help and 
distraction in a clean and healthy way. It 
has often been said that Mother Nature is a 
great healer: she most certainly is when we 
are given a chance of finding and knowing 
her, but to the average human being her 
existence may be known of, but the way of 
reaching her healing touch is a road care- 
fully guarded, and hidden away out of sight, 
except to the adventurous few who have 
strength of mind to struggle on against all 
difficulties and seek her for themselves. 

Surely we have no right not to lay open 
to the best of our abilities this road of 
happiness and comfort to all children ; to 

33 d 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

shut them out into a materialistic darkness 
of mind, to crush that love of beauty that 
God has thought right to instil into every 
infant mind. Instead, there are a great 
many parents and teachers banded together 
with one object, that being to destroy and 
stamp out any love of beauty that may peep 
out from a child's mind, to uproot it and 
there plant instead a million growths of 
rank and ugly thoughts all overshadowed by 
one great primary planted tree whose name 
is the love of the ugly and grotesque ; from 
it branches another smaller tree called the 
power of being able only to see the bad; 
creeping up this is the worm of blindness 
to all God's teaching of Nature. A truly 
terrible garden indeed, and apt to bear fruit 
plentifully now and afterwards. 

I went to one of London's largest toy- 
shops the other day and there bought some 
toys which can be seen in the following 
photograph. I was told that they were very 
popular, and it is difficult to believe that 
sane people can give their children toys of 

34 



GROTESQUE TOYS 



BE AFT Y 

this kind, and not realise in any way the 
irreparable harm they are doing to their 
minds, particularly as most small infants 
will turn shuddering from this ugliness 
presented to them, but are coaxed into 
thinking they like these hideous things, 
until they really do come to take a pleasure 
in them. So the first great lesson of man's 
teaching is learnt, taken into your heart and 
mind the ugly and repulsive thought and 
thing that God tells you instinctively to 
turn from and beware of. A feAV years of 
this teaching and God's voice of instinct 
grows dim and at last ceases. So we wil- 
fully and of our own accord strike out of 
our children's lives one great help and safe- 
guard, instead of aiding them to develop 
and strengthen it, so as to get all the joy 
and happiness possible from this great 

gift. 

It may be agreed that a love of beauty 
has brought many a man and woman 
to sin, and it is true that such a love 
superficial and untrained, may well do so. 

35 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

But that love, trained and instilled into 
the human mind along with a deep and 
reverent understanding, can only be of the 
greatest help and benefit. In this case the 
beauty and purity of the soul, and that 
wondrous temple, the human body, would 
prove too strong a responsibility to allow 
the mind to smirch them with sin and vice. 
In advocating that children should be taught 
to see Nature's works with clear eyes, I do 
not mean that the many wonderful and 
beautiful works of Man should be ignored : 
only with God's works we can roam amongst 
them, knowing that what they teach can 
only be good; with Men's we must walk 
warily, picking out for the help of the young 
only those things that speak of fine and 
pure intention, and that can start no train 
of impure thought. Of the greatest influence 
for good, I put the sculpture of the ancient 
Greeks foremost : it cannot be studied too 
much by the young; the more it is loved 
and understood the more lessons it teaches, 
a deep and wide sense of extreme quietness 

36 



BEAUTY 

and nobility, an understanding and reverence 
in the truest sense of the word for the 
beauty of the human body, to mar or ill- 
treat which was a sin against all that was 
highest in them. A great patience and an 
almost superhuman effort and striving to- 
wards all that was greatest and best, a 
reaching out of mind and soul to do honour 
to Him who made them ; what matter if their 
gods were many, the effort and the reve- 
rence were the same, and as such will surely 
be recorded. 

Will ever a quarter be understood as 
to what we owe these ancient masters of 
art, the help they have been to thousands 
in their gentle and sincere teaching — only 
thousands, alas ! for of the millions of people 
reared and taught in our country, it is the 
few who find out by accident or design the 
beauties and wonders of their works ? It is 
true that bodies of school - children are 
escorted at intervals to the British Museum, 
where they are shown round by some one 
who is supposed to have a knowledge of 

37 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

the contents. Many a time have I watched 
the groups with a sad heart, realising how 
much help and joy they were missing. ' That 
is a statue by So-and-so, 400 B.C.,' on and 
on from one thing to another, merely a 
jumble of names and dates ; no aid given to 
those muddled young minds towards their 
seeing and understanding the beauty they 
are gazing at ; no chance given them to 
take in the message of purity and quietness 
that those great works send forth ever- 
lastingly to those who have learnt to see 
and hear. What good is there in knowing 
a list of famous names if the knowledge 
ceases at that, and the work that made those 
names famous is unknown and unrealised ? 
The human being Avho feels a great humility 
and thankfulness before all beauty, whether 
God's work or Man's, says a truer and more 
sincere prayer than he who sits in church 
and parrot-like repeats long prayers to the 
God whose work he either knows not, or 
does his best to destroy. 

We are told in the Bible that we arc 

38 



BEAUTY 

made in the likeness of God. It is wonder- 
ful how far we have managed to stray from 
it, and how determined we are that our 
children shall have no chance to attain to 
it. With studious care have we built up 
year by year a mass of customs and habits 
that successfully bar us from anything much 
higher in appearance than the apes some 
think we are descended from. Sometimes 
one sees a human face and body that has 
been strong enough to struggle into maturity 
unmarked and maimed in spite of Man's 
laws, and when we see such a one, it is with 
a heart full of wrath and pity that we gaze 
around on the crippled, hideous bodies that 
might be like unto gods walking, and are 
merely distorted shapes, breeding further 
shapes still more distorted, and a vista of 
horror is opened in the mind, and one seems 
to hear the cries of millions of unborn 
children, each generation a little more hor- 
rible to look at; with minds a little lower 
and more sin-filled, and with less and less 
hope of gaining all that has been lost. More 

39 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

lives to work out their own hell, fewer to 
live in Heaven. 

To keep a child's mind filled with beau- 
tiful thoughts, and let their eyes see only 
beautiful things is, I know well, a difficult 
matter nowadays, since we have filled the 
world with hideous things and the minds of 
those about us with ugly thoughts, but the 
importance of doing so is, as I have said 
before, very great. It seems to me as if 
beautiful ideas and things have a very slight, 
delicate growth in the brain while it is in 
its early development, while the ugly and 
grotesque takes hold with giant roots, and 
once allow the latter to creep in first, it will 
oust all after attempts to replace it with the 
delicate plant of beauty. But keep the 
mind well stocked with all that is beautiful, 
and by the time the brain and body are 
developed, these plants will have attained to 
such strong and noble proportions that little 
fear need be felt of the others finding any 
space to live in and flourish. 

There is a great deal of talk nowadays 

40 



BEAUTY 

about Eugenics and theories on improving 
the human race. It might be well worth 
the experiment to try how the gospel of 
beauty taught in the deepest and truest 
sense might succeed where everything else 
has failed ; if we were educated to see ugli- 
ness, mental and physical, as sins of the 
most serious description against our Maker, 
whether would it not prove a very powerful 
help towards the uplifting of the human 
race from the mire in which it at present 
lies. 



41 



TEACHERS 

HAVING tried to show how important 
the teaching of the love of beauty 
is to children, and how important it is 
during the early development of the brain 
to keep all that is bad and repulsive away, 
and only present the good and the beautiful, 
it may not be out of place to say a little 
on the subject as to the difficulty of getting 
teachers who have ever given these ideas a 
thought, and if asked to carry out one's 
wishes on this subject simply regard one 
as a harmless lunatic. A few are con- 
scientious enough to make efforts, but even 
these are a hopeless failure, and for this 
reason, if no thought has been given during 
the years of training as to the necessity of 

43 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

keeping ugliness, physical and mental, from 
children, it is almost impossible, unless 
unusually gifted in self-control, to restrain 
one's self a hundred times an hour from 
doing or saying something ugly before 
children ; also, with the best endeavours in 
the world, the deplorable fact remains that 
the great majority do not know what is 
ugly and what is beautiful. 

Nine years ago, I started with a light 
heart and a happy mind to educate my 
eldest son in the way in which I considered 
all children ought to be educated : in other 
words only pure and good thoughts were 
to be instilled into his mind, and he was 
never to have the ugly and grotesque forced 
on his notice. My difficulties began with 
my first nurse, and they have gone on in- 
creasing through a series of nurses and 
governesses. That they should not under- 
stand one's ideas on the subject was not 
surprising, as their upbringing made these 
ideas a closed book to them ; but what was 
so heart-breaking was that after hours of 

U 



TEACHERS 

explaining and reasoning, and eventually in 
despair almost extorting promises that they 
should endeavour to speak only what was 
truthful and good, and that they should 
refrain from ugly tales and dirty ideas, it 
began to dawn on me that most of these 
people who take charge of children do not 
know the difference between what is good 
and what is bad for children to see and 
hear, and all the explaining in the world 
could not teach them: proving that unless 
the study of these things is undertaken in 
youth, it is of little use later in life to try 
and learn it. Some of them really tried, 
they genuinely wished to please me, but it 
was hopeless from my point of view ; in fact, 
I was talking a strange tongue to them, and 
with the best endeavours they could not 
understand a language they had never 
learnt. It is certainly not my wish to decry 
the faithful service that nurses have given 
to their charges, a good deal more faithful 
than many mothers. But what I do want 
to point out is that the training of nurses 

45 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

and teachers is as a rule far from what it 
ought to be, and until this training is most 
thoroughly altered it is worse than useless 
to try and raise the education of children to 
a higher and purer level. First of all, it 
must be recognised that these people on 
whom the future of our young so largely 
depends ought to be the most respected and 
honoured amongst people, and this feeling 
of responsibility and honour ought to be 
ingrained in the minds of those who intend 
to enter the vocations of nursing or teaching. 
Not, as so often is the case, that teaching is 
taken up when a failure is made at other 
professions, and when you find in rich 
houses that the teachers or nurses of the 
children are paid considerably less than the 
cook or butler. Until teaching is put upon 
its proper pedestal and regarded as the 
most honoured of professions, and one not 
to be entered into lightly, so will education 
remain at its present low level. 

It is constantly being said that there are 
so many clever women leaving our colleges 

46 



TEACHERS 

each year, and finding it difficult to earn a 
livelihood : surely teaching ought to give 
many of them a profession in life ; but until 
the profession is regarded rightly, as one of 
the most high and sacred callings, clever 
men and women will consider it beneath 
them, or only to be used as a step towards 
something better. Certainly, latterly, there 
has been some improvement in the methods 
of imparting knowledge to the young, but 
I am afraid that these methods have not 
always been used for the good only of the 
child. Too many good teachers are given 
to cramming infants' minds to an extent 
extremely harmful, only caring to produce 
on examination days tiny children who can 
repeat pages of verse and prose — in other 
words, at the expense of the child's health and 
mind, they nurture their own vanity, showing 
that their idea of responsibility is as lax as 
their knowledge of the delicate structure 
they undertake to build up. The ignorance 
of the people to whom children are entrusted 
on the science of Pedagogy is truly amazing. 

47 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

They know nothing about the body, and 
still less about the working of a child's 
brain. They do not know what is harmful 
physically, or what effect body has on brain, 
or vice-versa; they have a smattering of 
Physical Culture and this is used indis- 
criminately, and they cannot be blamed, as 
they have never been taught even the rudi- 
ments of a science which they ought to 
know thoroughly before they essay to teach. 
For it is, I am certain, this entire lack of 
knowledge as to the brain and body and the 
effect of one on the other, that leads to so 
much distress and sin, and that is such a 
handicap in any efforts that are made to fill 
the mind with only what is worth while. 
Excellent methods such as Dr. Montessori's 
are terribly hampered by the difficulty of 
finding people in any quantity capable of 
carrying out ideas which require careful 
observation and a real knowledge of the 
child's mind and body. They may earnestly 
strive, but they will fail, and consequently 
many good methods brought forward by 

48 



TEACHEES 

clever trained people go to the wall and are 
labelled as useless, simply because the 
teachers are quite incompetent to either 
grasp or carry out any method which re- 
quires a real and not a superficial know- 
ledge of Pedagogy. 

Now this is all rather dreadful, and the 
only way to improve matters and give 
children a chance of starting life with a 
healthy and pure outlook is for all parents 
to band themselves together and insist that 
the people who volunteer to take charge of 
and educate children, shall have received a 
proper training both mentally and physically. 
If this was done, in one generation, educa- 
tion in the highest sense of the word would 
have a bright outlook, as people who have 
received a sane and clean education them- 
selves will most certainly see that their 
children receive and benefit by the same. 
I do not think that parents can often give 
much thought as to the unlimited amount 
of harm done in their nurseries. The con- 
versations that are carried on before young 

49 e 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

children, between nurse and nursery-maids, 
are five times out of six harmful, I am 
certain ; and any observing mother can 
tell, from the way children behave and the 
things they talk about, the sort of influence 
that is unconsciously wielded by the nurses 
in charge. Looking back at my nursery 
days, and my memory of them is very 
distinct, I can easily remember the kind of 
topics that were discussed before me : every 
sort of gossip on the latest scandals, the 
latest murder, horrors of war, &c, all in their 
most gruesome details. I was, I suppose, 
about four or five years of age, and those 
conversations are clear in my memory to 
this day. My nurse was the dearest and 
most faithful of old Scotch servants, and 
would have given her life gladly for any of 
her charges, but she had never been taught 
herself as to what was harmful and what 
was not for children to see and hear, and 
had the uneducated person's general idea 
that children up to the age of about ten 
years are deaf, dumb, and blind. Many and 

50 



TEACHERS 

many an evil growth and crooked outlook 
on life is gained in those early nursery days, 
and they cling steadily through life. In 
these days of heavy doings and light think- 
ings, the children of the well-to-do are more 
and more left in the charge of others than 
their parents, and it seems that this would 
become more so than less in the future. So, 
surely, a giant effort should be made towards 
establishing a training college, or improving 
the ones at present in existence, and insist- 
ing that nurses and teachers are trained so 
as to have considerably higher ideals than 
they have at present, and a far deeper know- 
ledge of the mind and body, before they are 
allowed to play havoc with the lives of the 
young. 

Most certainly there are many young 
people who love children, and have them- 
selves been brought up in a clean, though 
perhaps limited manner : opportunities 
should be given to them to train so as to 
become able to take charge of children and 
to fully understand the tremendous respon- 

51 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

sibilities they undertake when children are 
given into their charge. 

A man would be considered a great fool 
if he placed a valuable racehorse in the 
hands of an ordinary stable-man to be 
trained for a great race, and the horse 
would stand little chance to win unless 
handled by an experienced trainer who had 
made it his business for years to learn all 
there was to know on the subject of 
handling valuable animals. He would give 
hours of observation and thought, he would 
know to a hair's weight what the animal 
could stand physically, any mental idiosyn- 
crasies would be studied and sought to be 
overcome. But the average person who has 
charge of children as a rule not only does 
not know even the anatomy of the child, but 
the formation of its mind and the proper 
way of training that mind, and bringing it 
to a full and perfect development, is often 
not even considered a matter of importance. 
I do not wish to imply that these people are 
purposely negligent of their duties, I merely 

52 



TEACHERS 

wish to point out that the large majority 
do not realise or understand, from their 
imperfect training, either duties or respon- 
sibilities, the idea being very often that 
children will turn out good or bad men or 
women quite independently of their upbring- 
ing and the influence brought to bear on 
them during the early years of their de- 
velopment. 



53 



DANCING 

FOK many years I have been a most 
ardent admirer of Miss Isadora 
Duncan, and there is no doubt that in the 
revival of classical barefooted dancing she 
stands out with great brilliancy. All praise 
is due to her as a creator of this school of 
dancing, and those amongst us who seek to 
follow in her footsteps do so, I fear, but 
feebly. I think I am right in saying that all 
the sincere classical dancers wish to forward 
this school, not merely from the point of 
view of making money on the stage, but 
from the educational value they feel it ought 
to hold in the upbringing of all children of 
both sexes. And that this value is very 
great has been proved as much as such a 

55 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

young movement can be proved by Miss 
Duncan, M. Jacque Dalcroze, and others. 
Though, of course, the eurhythmies of 
Jacque Dalcroze is a system of training 
entirely different in method from that of 
any one else. 

One of the greatest advantages that 
classical dancing holds over the toe-dancing 
school is that it is possible to become pro- 
ficient in it by giving a short time daily to 
its practice, instead of the many hours and 
years of arduous work that a toe-dancer has 
to go through before becoming a finished 
exponent of the art. One is an accomplish- 
ment that we all ought to be able to enjoy, 
the other is only possible for the Avoman who 
means to make it a profession, and give the 
best years of her life to it. Though to 
become a good classical dancer it is not only 
necessary to take a child and instruct it in 
the art of moving gracefully if the rest of its 
education does not assist in the teaching. 
From earliest infancy it must be taught to 
observe, to concentrate, to realise tbe beau- 

56 



MISS ISADORA DUNCAN 
From a Photograph by the Dover Street Studios 



DANCING 

beautiful in line and colour, and to have 
the ugly and repulsive kept away from it, 
encouraged to copy beautiful poses and 
eventually express to music in movement 
what that music says to it. The educational 
value of classical dancing is that its expres- 
sion has to come from within. A toe-dancer 
is very often merely a brilliant machine. 
Her dance is often composed for her by her 
professors, and her well-trained muscles 
merely respond like a perfect machine to 
their commands. It therefore follows that 
the educational value in such dances is 
practically nil, apart from the dancers having 
had to learn muscle - control, patience, 
and endurance, which of course is of use. 
A child trained to classical dancing in the 
right way will, by the time it reaches full 
growth, dance, I feel sure, as we were all 
meant to dance, every muscle in control and 
the mind enveloped in the glory of expressing 
beauty by perfect rhythmical movements. 
Having worked on the stage as a classical 
dancer for a short time I was a good deal 

57 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AXD GAMES 

saddened by the adverse criticisms I heard 
on all sides, about the bare-footed school of 
dancing : general sameness and general 
dullness were the two most severe. My own 
dancing being criticised I did not mind. I 
was merely a beginner, and beginners nearly 
always have to suffer. I asked many and 
various people as to the reasons of these 
criticisms and always got the same answer : 
• Very pretty, yes. but when it is seen once. 
that is sufficient. Interesting. I dare say. to 
painters and sculptors who know when a 
pose is pure and a faithful copy of the 
antique, but the general public don't, and 
all the poses and dances look much alike.* 

At that time I used to get angry, and 
salved my wounded feelings by putting these 
people down as narrow-minded and inartistic, 
but at the bottom of my heart I felt that 
they had some right on their side. I went 
several times to see classical dancing which 
was supposed to be good, and tried fairly 
with an open mind to criticise it. After a 
good deal of sincere study and thought on 

58 



MADl.e ADELINE GENEE 
From a Photograph by the Dd'er Street Studios 



DANCING 

the subject I came to the conclusion that to 
a great extent these criticisms were right. 
What was lacking I was sure was the 
absence of any real joyousness and life in 
the dancing. The dancers did their best, 
but with the exception of Miss Duncan's 
work, which carries a splendid joyousness 
in it, the dancing was curiously dead and 
heavy. The poses were good, the arms and 
body graceful and trained, but the legs and 
feet of most of them were totally untrained, 
the muscles soft and flabby, thus causing 
every movement to be devoid of life. In 
fact, an exact antithesis to the toe-dancer, 
who very often has wonderfully trained legs 
and a great rigidity of arms and body. The 
Russian dancers have to a great extent got 
away from this very ugly style. 

Many contend that the ancient Greek 
dancers, whom the present-day classical 
dancers try to copy, did not train their legs 
for dancing, but merely used them as 
supports for the body and arms, to which all 
the graceful movements were confined. 

59 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

Personally, I feel sure that the Greeks if 
they trained their bodies and arms for the 
dance did not neglect the legs and feet, as 
they were known to insist most strongly in 
their physical education on perfect muscular 
development throughout the body. 

Then came to me the problem which I 
have attempted to solve during the last 
three years. Is it possible to combine 
Greek poses, graceful body movements, and 
plastic light movements of the legs, so that 
the whole may be welded and work smoothly 
together. In fact, to try and resemble the 
Russian dancers in their lightness and 
charm, but avoiding the tortuous and un- 
natural movements and positions favoured 
by the toe-dancer. I felt sure that a great 
deal of the lightness of the toe-dancer's 
work could be brought with great advantage 
into the classical dancer's, and still lose none 
of the simplicity and purity which is the 
barefooted dancer's ideal, rather in fact add 
to it, as it is quite unnatural to have heavy, 
uncontrolled muscles. This can be proved by 

60 



MADAME KARSAVINA 
From a Photograph by the Do','er Street Studios 



DANCING 

watching the dancing of savages, whose 
movements may be grotesque, but every 
muscle is under control, and each movement 
sure. The answer to all this by many would 
be that it is only necessary to remove the 
tights, shoes, and ballet- skirt from any of 
the leading toe-dancers, replace them by a 
Greek drapery, and you will have a perfect 
classical dancer : for many of the Russians 
have shown that they have studied a certain 
amount of this work as far as poses go in 
some of their ballets — ' Narcissus,' for 
instance. But there are several insuperable 
objections to this, one of the foremost being 
that an experienced toe-dancer's bare foot is 
nearly always a thing of horror to look at. 
Secondly, a toe-dancer gets all her positions 
with her foot pointed as stiffly as possible, 
and her foot when not on the ground is 
never otherwise than pointed. A bare foot 
pointed, even a well-shaped bare foot, is an 
extremely ugly thing. A toe-dancer's foot 
has at all times to be rigid. She gets her 
muscular control from the rigid foot upwards, 

61 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

and it would be an unheard-of fault for a toe- 
dancer to allow her foot to become limp at 
any moment while dancing. Again, a 
classical dancer must have her bare feet limp 
exactly like her hands : the greatest difficulty 
I found was to keep the feet limp and get 
the muscular control in the legs, also not to 
let the feet look dead. All dancers have to 
conquer this difficulty in their hands when 
learning to dance. A limp hand and a dead- 
looking hand are two very different things. 
I have worked hard for three years at what 
I think I am justified in calling a new form 
of bare-foot dancing. I make no pretence 
of having perfected it, but I hope it is a step 
in the right direction towards dancing that 
shall be perfect in pose and expression, and 
that will help the human mind and body to 
retain its birthright of beauty. 



62 



BAREFOOTED DANCING AFTER THE GREEK STYLE 
From a Photograph by the White Studios 



BAREFOOTED DANCING AFTER THE GREEK STYLE 
From a Photograph by the White Studios 



SWIMMING 

IF asked which style of physical exercise I 
should recommend to bring nearly all 
the greater muscles of the body into play, 
and be of all-round value to the exerciser, 
I should unhesitatingly say swimming — 
and it is with a good deal of pleasure 
one notices how greatly on the increase the 
learning of swimming is amongst well-to-do 
people, and that parents are beginning dimly 
to realise what an incalculable amount of 
good children of both sexes gather from this 
exercise. Having seriously studied swim- 
ming and diving since I was fourteen years 
old, I feel that I am at liberty to speak 
strongly on the subject ; of the good that 
can be got from indulging in one of the 

63 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

most pleasurable physical exercises there 
are, and also the harm that can result from 
bad teaching, &c. 

Having been a member of the Bath Club, 
London, since it first opened, I have had 
every opportunity of studying swimming and 
the people who swim — and there is no doubt 
that the Club has done an enormous lot to 
encourage learning swimming amongst the 
rich and their children, particularly the 
latter, averaging in age from three years old 
and upwards ; also, of course, I have swum 
and watched swimming in many other 
countries and baths. An interesting thing 
is that most of the men anyway who swim 
seriously, going in for competitions, exhi- 
bitions, &c, are gleaned from the working 
classes, not from the idle rich, who one 
would imagine have far more time and 
opportunity to perfect themselves. But the 
art of swimming and diving is curiously little 
excelled in by the latter. They of course 
know how to swim, as that is taught at most 
public schools — but few get any further, the 

64 



ENGLISH POSITION IN AIR WHILE DIVING 



SWIMMING 

real swimming Avorld being composed nearly 
entirely of hard-working men. This, of 
course, refers to England. When 1 first 
began swimming it Avas thought quite out of 
the common to take an interest in this 
exercise, and women who swam, amongst 
one's friends, could be counted on the fingers 
of one's hand. As to high diving, that was 
looked at in horror and amazement. 

Then the Swedish divers came to London 
and gave exhibitions of high diving; and 
people began to realise that there might be 
something worth while in this art beyond 
the ordinary flopping-along breast-stroke 
through the water, which was about as 
much as the average woman, anyhow, dared 
to try. Swimming clubs for both sexes 
began to crop up, competitions were started, 
prizes given — and the standard rose by 
degrees to what it is now. Not high enough, 
by any means, but an erormous improve- 
ment on fifteen years ago. I personally 
think that what makes the Swedish divers 
stand out as a rule head and shoulders above 

65 F 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

any other divers is their marvellous realisa- 
tion of form in their work, and to define 
what one means by form is almost im- 
possible. Some will say a diver with a 
great deal of finish has good form, personally 
T think it quite possible to be an absolutely 
finished diver and yet lack a great deal in 
form. It seems to me that the great dash 
and boldness and muscular control the 
Swedes exhibit in the air has a great deal to 
do with it. One of the above qualities is often 
seen, but all three together seems almost 
unique to the Swedish divers. 

Perhaps it may be interesting to mention 
the difference between a plain English dive 
and a plain Swedish dive. As regards the 
positions — the English dive is taken with 
the hands pointed straight up above the 
head, from the tips of the fingers to the end 
of the toes the body ought to be in a 
straight line. The Swedish plain dive is 
the swallow dive, so called from the position 
of the hands and arms out from the shoulders 
at almost right angles. During the flight 

66 



SWEDISH SWALLOW DIVE 



SWIMMING 

through the air the back is hollowed as 
much as possible. A man doing a high 
running swallow dive greatly resembles a 
bird swooping down, and the beauty of line 
that the best divers manage to get into it 
is remarkable. 

Of course the muscular development and 
control needed in high diving is very great— 
therefore making it a most valuable exercise. 
A really good high dive and perfectly 
developed and controlled muscles are bound 
to go together. 

I think that the beauty in the art of 
diving is greatly under-valued, and grace- 
fulness not nearly enough insisted on in the 
teaching of it ; like all other physical exer- 
cises unless fitness and beauty of the body 
are the aim of the exerciser, they ought to 
be left alone, little good will certainly be 
gathered from any form of exercise if it is 
entered into merely in the spirit of com- 
petition, and not with the wish to improve 
the body and the mind. Most exercises of a 
vigorous kind will help a person mentally ; 

67 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

for instance, the mind would have to be a 
seething mass of corruption if it was past 
being helped by the contact and feel of cold 
water after a rush through the air from a 
height ; unclean and impure thoughts that 
crowd gaily and with little shame under the 
electric lights in a crowded restaurant 
would not venture to show themselves 
when the body is tingling and the mind 
rioting with joy from a swift rush through 
the sunlit air into a still pool in a river, 
or even into the green depths of a 
swimming-bath. No ; exercise aided by cold 
clean water and fresh air do not walk hand 
in hand with uncleanliness of spirit, and if 
only this was more understood and realised 
by parents, how much unhappiness and peril 
might be saved their children. As to the 
teaching of children — swimming ought to be 
taught to all and taught in the right spirit — 
not regarded as a means to clutch a gold 
medal from some less fortunate brother or 
sister, but a glorious means of helping them- 
selves mentally and physically, and an 

68 



SWIMMING 

exercise that ought to be put within the 
reach of rich and poor; and, I feel most 
strongly, taught, as all physical exercises 
should be taught, to man and woman, as a 
weapon to combat through life temptations 
and sorrows which come to all on life's 
journey. It is only necessary to watch small 
children splash about in pool or bath to 
understand what great joy can be given 
them and in a very easy manner. Taught 
and helped they make marvellous progress 
and even the quite small ones will strive to 
perfect themselves in stroke or dive — also 
love of the water seems to breed good 
temper and good fellowship, therefore surely 
that love is to be encouraged. As to the 
harm that can be got from swimming I 
think it is the same that can be found in any 
exercise that is practised in a harmful 
manner. Overstrain is particularly liable in 
children who are allowed and encouraged to 
race each other until their hearts are 
bumping, which also leads to bad swimming. 
I am sure no serious racing ought to be 

69 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

allowed to the young until the strokes are 
sure and perfect. 

Again, children, in baths especially, are 
allowed to stay in far too long. No time limit 
can be given, I know, as one child can stay 
in the water a great deal longer than another, 
but constantly one sees children blue with 
cold and exhaustion, and when they are 
taken out of the water only too often parents 
and teachers hurry them oft' to stand under 
a hot shower-bath or, a still worse evil, take 
them into the the hot room of a Turkish 
bath to get warmed up, consequently an 
overtired, flushed child is the result, instead 
of a happy, brisk, and refreshed one. Less 
time in the water, and, if cold, a few exercises 
or a romp to warm up after, will be far more 
successful and also stop the plaint which is 
often dinned into our ears — ' Such a pity 
my child can't learn to swim, but she or he 
always catches cold afterwards.' 

Small children can learn, apart from the 
ordinary breast and side strokes, all the so- 
called fancy work in the water, of which 

70 



SWIMMING 

there are many different varieties — all of 
them being a- great aid to gracefulness and 
sureness, and delighting children as well 
as grown-up people. Personally I am no 
believer in high diving for young children, 
as the muscles are seldom either strong or 
controlled enough to make a fair certainty 
of the dive being a good one, and if it isn't 
I do not think it is good for a small child to 
hit the water in the wrong position. 

They certainly ought to learn to dive and 
to dive well, but not from more than a ten- 
feet board -until they can really make a 
certainty of a good clean dive from that 
height. I mention this as often one sees 
ambitious parents urging on their children 
to dive from a thirteen or fourteen feet 
board, when they cannot properly dive from 
three feet. Of course a good teacher will 
not permit this, but good teachers are few. 
Grown-up people also often make the same 
mistake, and go falling off high boards long 
before they can dive from a low one. Also 
in the minds of non- swimmers or divers 

71 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

there seems to exist the curious belief that 
high diving is a gift. I have often been met 
with reproachful looks after a dive, and the 
words, ' I really don't know how you do it, 
it is quite wonderful; and you know I have 
tried and I can't spring a bit like you can ; 
isn't it a shame ! ' When answered some- 
what prosaically that it has taken fourteen 
years of hard practice to acquire that spring, 
and that it is necessary to have the muscles 
developed in the legs and body before it is 
possible to dive at all with any skill, watch 
the non- swimmer's mouth and you will see 
the one word ' liar ' forming silently thereon ! 
These are a type who appear in swimming- 
baths and stand about on the edge rarely 
venturing into the water, and, when they do, 
struggle about in a half-drowned condition, 
believing that to show any muscle or know- 
ledge of swimming is to be thoroughly un- 
graceful — if not hopelessly vulgar. They 
also have another trying habit, and that is 
of paddling feebly round in circles always 
just on the spot where the divers from the 

72 



SWIMMING 

high boards must enter the water. When 
the frantic instructor tries to explain the 
situation, they stare wildly round the edge, 
but nothing will ever induce them to look 
up to where the danger comes from. More 
than once I have become weak from 
laughter, standing on a high board watch- 
ing the instructor and paddler — also when 
eventually the whole bath starts shouting at 
them and they are removed, it is a certainty 
that in a sort of hypnotised condition they 
will be back in the same spot shortly. 

There is also another type very prevalent 
at swimming-baths, as I know for my sins, 
and these are women who come and stand 
about on the edge of the baths, for what 
reason I never could discover, unless it is to 
talk, but it seems a damp and uncomfortable 
spot for indulging in conversation. They 
always stand with their backs to the water, 
and seem to be absolutely unconscious of 
both bath and swimmers. It does not the 
least matter that there may be the most 
convenient balcony with comfortable chairs 

73 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

provided for those who wish to watch the 
swimming, not at all — nothing short of 
violence will move them, and if there is a 
low diving-board handy, they always stand 
on it. Polite remarks such as, ' I wish to 
dive, please,' or ' Please I want the board,' 
uttered in a beseeching fashion, has no 
effect whatever. For years I treated these 
people with politeness, but eventually my 
temper broke, with excellent results, and I 
have now adopted a way which is instan- 
taneously effective, and I offer the suggestion 
with great pleasure to any of my fellow- 
swimmers who have suffered in the same 
manner. Here it is — brush past them 
heavily once or twice so that they get 
thoroughly wet, if that is not effective run 
lightly up behind and shout ' Board ! ' with 
all the strength your lungs are capable of, 
that will generally cause them to jump 
several feet into the air, and while their 
nerves are still trembling place them in the 
hands of an attendant to conduct to the 
aforesaid balcony ! 

74 



SWIMMING 

It is extraordinary bow keen people get 
about swimming even when they have taken 
it up quite late in life — I know several who 
swim regularly, and work away at diving 
with the greatest diligence, and it is much to 
their credit, as learning diving after you are 
full grown is a most painful exercise, and if 
you are well on in years and heavy I should 
have thought doubly so— and one would 
have imagined not a very healthy exercise, 
but I know one or two women who are well 
past middle age who have only the last year 
or two taken up swimming and diving, and 
they seem to benefit greatly by it. I think 
it a very great question as to whether giving 
swimming-baths to the very poor is an advan- 
tage or not — I do not mean for a moment 
that they ought not to have swimming-baths 
and also learn to swim, but done as things 
are at present with insufficient instruction, 
and water that is changed only once or twice 
a week, the risk of infection is great. If 
people who do not wash regularly use 
swimming-baths, and a bath with soap is 

75 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

not made compulsory before entering the 
public water, then running water through 
the bath ought to be the alternative. 

Let me once more urge parents to have 
their children taught to swim, in the proper 
fashion, and with the proper ideas as to its 
value and place in life, for there is no better 
sport or exercise than swimming and diving 
to instil in a child's mind purity and self- 
control, and drive away that present-day 
great usurper of the mind, uncleanliness of 
thought, the beginnings of which, alas ! can 
sometimes nowadays be seen in even the 
quite young. 



76 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

NOWADAYS it is the fashion for the 
wealthy young man about town to go 
to India or Africa to hunt big game. So it 
may be of interest to discuss a little this big 
game shooting from an educational point 
of view — which point of view had not 
arisen, and of which there Avas no need, 
before or during the last generation. But, 
alas ! different times and different men have 
turned hunting into a mere pastime of the 
lowest kind — into an excuse for killing in an 
unsportsmanlike fashion, to be used as a sop 
for a feeble, decadent vanity. 

Such mighty hunters as Mr. Selous and 
the late Captain Gordon Gumming made it 
possible only to honour and respect in every 
way such men, who hunted in a clean, hard, 

77 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

fearless manner, spending their lives and 
caring little of the way they risked them, so 
long as the task set was accomplished. 
There was no necessity then to question as 
to the sportsmanlike manner in which big 
game was hunted. It is more than a pity 
that the same cannot be said at the present 
day. 

In imagination one sees the many mighty 
hunters of bygone days : the men who 
laboured and sweated in Africa during the 
time when elephant ivory was a paying 
game. The years of hardship, of carrying 
one's life in one's hand — the only thing 
that kept death away, an antiquated rifle 
that took a minute to load — these were 
men to whose memory all real sportsmen 
must doff their hats and bend their heads 
in reverence. 

One or two are still left to us, and 
written on their faces is the story of the 
lives .they have led— a story clean and fine 
to read — eyes that look out with no shiftless 
look, bright and clear as steel; firm lips 

78 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

that have suffered, perhaps, but have never 
trembled from fear; lines drawn plentifully 
by the sun-god, but each line shaped by a 
wholesome thought. No sagging lines of 
self-indulgence in these faces ; even if they 
had their merry roystering times on their 
few returns to civilisation, they wiped out 
the marks by the months of arduous and 
self-denying living which they spent hunt- 
ing. Some to make money, others because 
they had been born hunters and would con- 
tinue to hunt until the Most Mighty of all 
Hunters stretched forth His hand and 
claimed them in their turn. 

Sportsmen these in the greatest sense of 
the word. Turn in your graves, ye who have 
passed on ! Or, rather, let us pray that it is 
denied to you to see the men and methods 
that follow so feebly in your footsteps. 

Let me try and compare the going forth 
to hunt of a rich young man of the present 
day, and one of these old hunters. The 
rich young man starts, say, from Mombasa — 
it is the pet place of rich young men, as it is 

79 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

easily got at, and a non-feverish hunting- 
ground can be reached with little trouble. 
He, the rich young man, is quite often 
accompanied by a professional white hunter, 
Avho takes all trouble from off his shoulders, 
engages his men, runs the whole outfit for 
him, and generally acts as male nurse to the 
rich young man, seeing that he does not run 
his valuable head anywhere in the direction 
that danger might lurk. He is, as a rule, a 
first-class shot, so if his charge misses or 
maims a dangerous animal, he can always 
rectify matters. In fact, he sets the scene, 
writes the play, acts as audience, and the 
rich young man plays the chief part, and the 
whole thing as much resembles real big 
game hunting as the theatre resembles real 
life. 

Of course the running of the caravan is 
is in itself no light work, as the rich young 
man would find it terribly uncomfortable to 
travel with less than sixty or ninety men, 
there are so many things to carry, tents, 
chairs of different kinds to rest the aching 

80 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

back, tables, dozens of plates, spoons, forks, 
and knives, beds, a mosquito-room to dine 
in, champagne to restore the rich young 
man after his fatiguing day, two or three 
portmanteaus of clothes — he might get fever 
if he did not change constantly, and to sit 
about in sweaty clothes is very dangerous 
he has heard — and then, my God ! he might 
die, if he hasn't brought a doctor with 
him this time : he most certainly will if he 
ventures back into Africa again. 

The above may seem exaggerated, but 
I can most sincerely assure my readers that 
it is not. It is merely the modern young 
man's idea of sport. 

Bah ! let me take a deep, clean breath, 
and get back to talking about the real men, 
the hunters of old whom we can respect and 
look up to, and feel glad that sometimes 
they will let us sit at their feet, and learn 
from them a little of the wisdom they have 
massed together during years of solitary 
travel. They are always quite modest men, 
putting little value on their brave deeds, 

81 Cr 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

regarding it all in the day's work — though 
sometimes their eyes will sparkle as they tell 
of some great adventure in bygone days. 
For it is near to their hearts, this life of 
wandering, and they would lead no other. 
To do an unfair or cowardly act would be an 
impossibility to these men, they are just good 
sportsmen, and they want no fairer name. 
How different their hunting ! One or two 
men would carry all they needed for months 
of travel ; no stock of tinned food here, they 
ate what they killed, and if they killed 
nothing, went without. A little flour and 
rice, a knife, a spoon, perhaps a fork ! — it was 
not a necessity, so why take it? A small 
tent, a few odds-and-ends, a couple of shirts. 
Everything worked down to the lowest limit. 
Not how much can we take — the new gospel 
— but how much can we do without, and 
they did without most things. They were 
there to hunt to the best of their ability, not 
to coddle their bodies ; they would have been 
ashamed to do that at any time, as coddled 
bodies and clean souls do not as a rule go 

82 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

together, and these men were essentially 
clean-souled. 

Yes, they were out to hunt big game- 
man against beast — teeth and claws against 
rifle — fair and square we met him and the 
best of us won. Sometimes they died of 
fever, sometimes they were killed by the 
animals they hunted — but one thing may 
be a certainty, and that is that each and all 
who met his death did so fearlessly and 
with no repining. They had taken the 
chances, and if the chances were too many 
for them, it was all in the day's work. 

How pitifully few of our modern young 
men will stand comparison with these old 
hunters — and it is in the comparing of the 
old with the new which brings up the 
question in one's mind as to whether it is 
not actually excessively wrong from all 
points of view to hunt in the manner in- 
dulged in by the man of the present day. 

The question as to our right in the 
taking of animal life is bound, I suppose, to 
arise in the minds of all who have children 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

to educate, and who think at all — and I 
personally find it one extremely hard to 
answer, and am fain to make a compromise, 
which I know is, as a rule, a great mistake : 
the young as a rule do not question, they 
hunt and take life in a purely heartless 
fashion, seeming to feel no doubt as to the 
right or the wrong of it, and while this is 
felt I should say hunt if — and this is a very 
large if — the hunting is done so that benefit 
for mind and body is got from it ; but there 
is little doubt that, indulged in as it is by the 
rich at present, it becomes a merely de- 
graded form of amusement. In the future, 
perhaps, we shall understand more clearly 
and realise more definitely as to whether the 
taking of an animal's life is wrong or not. 
Let me try and explain what I mean when I 
say sport ought only to be indulged in when 
of benefit to body and soul. 

It seems to me the only permissible 
excuse for killing ought to be, firstly, for 
food; and secondly — by far the most im- 
portant — that in the pursuit and killing 

84 



BJG GAME SHOOTING 

of game, a man becomes a finer, cleaner 
type owing to the life he is forced to 
lead during that pursuit. It is a life 
in the open air. He has to work hard. 
to lead a primitive life, and generally has 
a chance to brush away from his mind and 
body the uncleanly thoughts and clothes 
that are fostered and imposed by civili- 
sation. He must be independent, relying 
only on his own strength and skill : he must 
live and hunt as nearly as possible as his 
savage forefathers lived and hunted, and. 
having shaken clear of civilisation, he has 
time to examine his mind and generally get 
things into their proper perspective. He gives 
himself a chance to face his God and him- 
self if he does this fairly land a few months 
of a primitive, clean life will make him do it 
in spite of himself : he will come back from 
his hunting trip a better, saner, and stronger 
man mentally and physically than when he 
started, and his hunting will have provided 
the object necessary to encourage him to 
lead this kind of a life. And now we come 

85 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

back to the question, to kill or not to kill. 
There are certain people, but rarely young 
people, who can go out and lead a hard, 
primitive life, for the sheer love of the thing 
and for the good of their souls, and not need 
any definite object to lure the in on and keep 
their minds busy. But the average man 
has travelled such a little way along the big 
road of thought, that he requires to have 
something to amuse the superficial part of 
his mind while he is straightening and 
patching his tired soul and body. 

Therefore, if killing is only used as an 
excuse for leading a clean, healthy life, and 
it is done in a sportsmanlike fashion, it 
seems to my humble judgment better to 
hunt and be clean, than not hunt and be 
unclean. A compromise, I know, but the 
only one my poor judgment allows me. If 
sport is not undertaken to make a better 
man of you, nowadays, when it is not a 
necessity to hunt to live, then leave it alone, 
for it can only deteriorate and hinder. Worth- 
less is the man who goes out hunting with 

8G 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

no reason for his going beyond nurturing his 
personal vanity, with the desire only of 
bringing home so many heads and skins and 
showing them off to admiring relations and 
friends. Only too often, he cares little if 
the trophies were gotten in a sportsmanlike 
manner ; he goes, accompanied by all the 
trappings and comforts of civilisation, 
everything arranged and made easy, often 
even to having the animals he hunts found 
and marked down for him. In fact, he sets 
forth to accomplish a series of well-arranged 
animal murders, and he calls it sport. 

It would be truly instructive, if it were 
possible, to turn one of these so-called men 
loose in Africa out of reach of civilisation, 
and make him live as the real hunter of past 
days lived, dependent entirely on his own 
eyesight, skill, and endurance. I very much 
doubt if one week would not see him dying 
or dead, as from constant self-indulgence 
from earliest youth, and soft living of all 
kinds, his eyesight is rotten, his hearing is 
of no use whatever, and his staying power, 
unless bolstered up by incessant stimulants, 

87 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

does not exist at all. Unless the hunter of old 
had had all his senses very finely developed, 
he would not have got very far, and Africa 
would have claimed more white lives than 
she has already done. 

The unfortunate thing is that this type 
of decadent young man who overruns the 
healthy hunting-grounds of Africa, has done, 
and is doing, a great deal of harm to sport. 
He has more money than brains and he 
has no self-respect whatever. Therefore he 
indulges in a form of sport that is no sport 
at all, hut merely the seeking of a worn-out, 
unhealthy mind after amusement. He goes 
in for a form of vice in sport, which is a 
lust to kill in large numbers — how, does not 
in the least matter, it is the quantity that 
matters ; quality even does not attract him 
largely, rather three small heads than one 
good one. 

Also, to be cruel is perhaps more amusing 
than not to be cruel. T do not think I am 
wrong in saying that in the old days the 
man who did not kill as quickly and cleanly 
as possible would have been called a bad 

88 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

sportsman. Boys were brought up to con- 
sider sport a very serious thing, and to be 
named a good sportsman more or less hall- 
marked you. They regarded sport very 
seriously, these great-grandfathers of ours, 
and often in a manner which would appear to 
us with wider interests somewhat ridiculous. 
But the trouble is that sport is still freely 
indulged in — big game hunting more than 
it used to be, since great distances can now 
be covered with ease and comfort — and the 
good old rules as to what made a good 
sportsman and what didn't, have, instead of 
becoming more stringent, almost ceased to 
exist. The high ideals which the old sports- 
men kept constantly in front of them have 
gone, and in their place reigns a most un- 
wholesome desire to slaughter at all costs, 
which has naturally led to many cruel 
forms of hunting that would not have been 
tolerated in the old days. Fair play for man 
and beast was the gospel of the old hunters. 
Amusement for the hunter is the cry nowa- 
days, and a poor lot of human beings indulg- 
ing in a very poor form of sport is the result. 

89 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

A ceaseless endeavour to kill dangerous 
animals, and to remain perfectly safe while 
doing so, is, from a sportsman's point of view, 
a somewhat nauseating sight. A favourite 
device of this sort is tying up a live animal, 
such as a donkey or a goat, climbing up a 
tree to a safe perch, and from there shooting 
lions, &c, which will come to devour the tie- 
up. The feelings of the said tie-up during 
the hours of waiting do not require much 
imagination to realise. 

Hunting a lion with a pack of hounds, 
four or five men on ponies with rifles, is 
another very favourite pastime nowadays. 
It has its advantages in being fairly safe — 
for the men ; the hounds, of course, may 
suffer. The King of Beasts — would any one 
recognise him by that name, as, hunted, 
winded, dazed by the clamour of many 
hounds, he tries to make the long grass? — and, 
when he does make a break for the open, it 
does not matter if one rifle misses, or only 
wounds him, there are always two or three 
more to finish him off before he can re- 
taliate. 

90 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

If we will not face him on our feet, man 
and rifle against beast and claws, would it 
not be more sportsmanlike to leave him 
alone ? A pack of hounds and four or six 
rifles against one lion. Well it is that you 
mighty lion-hunters, who, unaided and badly 
armed, sought out and killed your lions by 
sheer skill and bravery, taking all chances, 
and only proud if the chances were against 
you — well it is that you have passed on; 
or do your spirits still haunt that land of 
fascination and disease, and, perchance, 
mourn over each great beast that is done 
to death by the hands of degenerate 
creatures, who manage to preserve their 
worthless lives against your mighty strength, 
merely by being able to entirely obliterate 
from their minds what the words ' good 
sportsmen ' once meant ? 

It would be of some interest to know 
how many lions, of the many that are killed 
nowadays, are met face to face, one man 
on the ground against one lion. Not so 
very many, methinks. One hears so much 
about the number of lions killed by So-and- 

91 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

so, but the methods of killing are generally 
left to the imagination of the listener. I 
believe there have been people degraded 
enough even to trap lions and think no 
shame of it. Hardly would this be per- 
missible even if there was a famous man- 
eater to be killed, unless every other sport- 
ing method had been tried and failed. Why 
this type of creature, who does this sort of 
thing and boasts of it, is not taken and given 
a horse- whipping, and then expelled from 
decent society, I know not — except that I 
suppose the old sense of fairness and good 
sportsmanship is breathing its last. I felt 
this very strongly when in London a short 
time ago, I went to see some moving 
pictures of big game taken in Africa. One 
of the pictures remains unpleasantly clear 
in my memory : it was that of a hyena in a 
trap, caught by one leg ; it grovelled along 
on its belly, tongue out, covered with dust, 
in an agony of fear, and showing the hideous 
misery of despair to be seen only in the 
eyes of trapped animals ; he ceased his con- 
vulsive efforts to get free for the moment, 

92 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

and he was then stirred up with sticks, so 
that his struggles might prove an amusing 
picture to be shown all over the world. It 
was explained during this picture that the 
trap was padded and could cause the animal 
no pain, as if pain of a wounded limb be 
felt or matter much to a trapped animal. 
It is the terrible fear, the feeling of helpless- 
ness and being at the mercy of all comers, 
— they who have always been free— look at 
their eyes ; and even if they be sorely 
wounded, it is not pain you see there, but 
sheer, horrible terror, the terror of the 
trapped animal, a thing to stamp out quickly 
by a merciful death, or, better still, give it 
back its freedom. It was also explained 
that anyway it did not matter much as the 
hyena was a horrible animal ! Fifty years 
ago, if moving pictures had existed and such 
a picture had been shown to a house full of 
men, women, and children, I feel certain 
that it would have been greeted with hisses 
instead of the applause it received, and the 
man who had the indecency to show such a 
picture would most likely have visited the 

93 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

nearest horse-pond. Trapping has been 
clone for years, as a rule to kill vermin, but 
it is generally left to paid men and regarded 
as a disagreeable necessity. We have come 
to sorry times indeed when we can regard 
the struggles of a trapped animal as an 
amusing spectacle, and take no shame in 
letting our children see such methods of 
sport. It is not only in hunting dangerous 
game that cruelty is indulged in, for it exists 
still more freely in the chase of the non- 
dangerous kind. Little shame is felt in 
wounding, and allowing a wounded animal 
to get away to die slowly in great pain 
from his wound, or perhaps to be eaten by 
one of the greater hunting animals. 

Unless a man is a perfect shot, he is 
bound to wound sometimes. But he ought 
to do his level best to find the animal and 
put it out of its pain. Nowadays there 
seems a sort of slackness about bothering 
to go after a wounded animal, which must 
come from a total want of imagination, and 
also from the lack of having it instilled 
severely into boys' minds like it used to be, 

94 



BIG GAME SHOOTING 

that to wound and not to kill was something 
to be very much ashamed of, and that, if it 
had been done, it betokened a failure and 
a falling-off from the moral standpoint of a 
sportsman. When this feeling was strongly 
developed, men were more careful how they 
shot ; they would not shoot at animals at a 
distance that five times out of six they were 
bound to miss or wound ; they hunted more 
carefully, and took more pains about getting 
within reasonable distance before firing. 
The mass of stuff that goes away wounded 
in Africa from indiscriminate firing at long 
distances would make a vast total if it could 
be counted up. I imagine boys also used to 
be taught a more thorough knowledge of 
sport. The hunting of the animals was 
considered of as great an importance as 
the letting off of the rifle. A man was not 
content to have the beast found for him, 
and he himself led up to it, the rifle placed 
in his hands, and sometimes told even when 
to let it off! A good many of the young 
men of the present day would be greatly at 
a loss, I fear, if they had even to clean their 

95 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

rifles themselves, and to take a rifle to 
pieces would be a Chinese puzzle to them. 

The old hunters were a mine of informa- 
tion on the countries they travelled in, and 
on the habits of the animals they hunted. 
The present-day man seems almost as if he 
were deaf and blind, so little does he know 
either about the animals he hunts or the 
countries he travels in. 

Surely sport regarded merely as a means 
to get so many heads and skins, not caring 
if the lowest and most unsportsmanlike 
methods are used so long as so much stuff 
is collected, must have only the most de- 
grading effect on the man who indulges 
in it. 

Gone are the days when to live we had 
to hunt and kill. So if we now hunt at 
all, let it be as an excuse to be in the great 
open places of the world, bettering ourselves 
in mind and body. And let us at least try 
only to employ sportsmanlike methods, 
and to follow staunchly along the road 
that those mighty hunters of old marked 
so bravely for us. 

96 



RELIGION 

IT ifl La. ossible to pick up a news- 

paper nowadays without seeing the 
n heading many columns of 
printed matter containing the views and 
dries on this subject from all kinds and 
eon itioiifl of people and from all parts of 
the kingdoL 1 >st of the newspaper dis- 
g f rally about the more or 
Less failings on the part of our 

modern education, and rarelj" seem to make 
Ic finifl rt to discus s : _ e a erioo g 

evils is; . : r :i_eir riis:r_.r 

to the curioufi lack of reason and uncr 
standing in tic icuing .: .-.-.: ;.n_i [; 
seems HffieaU understand how any one 
has r « the matter a momei_. a 

serf oufl the ighl can fail to realise the hope- 
lessness present methodte :•£ eduea- 

H 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

tion, which the average child of both rich 
and poor has to suffer from — both during 
the period of that education and in their 
lives afterwards where the effects of it 
follow them to the grave. 

The evils of modern education are many, 
and not to be eradicated in a day ; but the 
great root of most of these evils, and that 
from which they all spring, is that our 
children are given no God to worship, or, 
rather, they are given a name, to which they 
gabble a prayer morning and night, titter 
at if they hear mentioned, and thoroughly 
abominate on Sundays on account of the 
boredom and discomfort inflicted on that 
day in His Name. 

Surely it would be well worth the experi- 
ment to replace what is merely a disliked or 
ignored name with a real and living God in 
the children's minds, and I think the result 
would be that education would be helped 
farther towards a perfect and sound basis 
than it has ever been before. 

Teach them to have something strong 

98 



RELIGION 

and wonderful to believe in, a reason for 
doing the right and avoiding the wrong, a 
great and splendid helping presence, a living 
thought, instead of a hopelessly unjust and 
tiresome nonentity, which at present is what 
He represents to the average child. 

Many people are trying and trying faith- 
fully to find out the cause of the failure in 
our modern education ; and why, when so 
much money is spent, results are so dis- 
appointing. Yet it seems to occur to few 
that it is building on sand to try and im- 
press upon the brain of a developing human 
being the right way of living and learning, 
and at the same time giving that human 
being no true reason as to why that way 
is more right than any other way. The 
extremely young will believe, perhaps, that 
because mother or teacher says such-and- 
such a thing, that it is right, but the brain a 
little more developed rejects an edict given 
with no reason behind it, and I feel most 
sincerely certain that until God is made into 
a real living and helping thought in the 

99 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

mind of the young, education will remain 
much where it is. From our schools and 
homes a stream of men and women will 
continue to issue forth with indifferent 
educations, lacking in culture, and with 
the lowest of ideals, avIio are helpless prey 
to the first and strongest influences that 
may seize on them. If the influences are for 
the good, all may be well ; but if they be for 
the bad, what help or strength has ever 
been given in our education, mentally or 
physically, to assist in combating them ? 

Religion as it is taught to the average 
child is not only worse than useless, it is a 
blasphemy! — a strong word, I know, but a 
true one ; take any average child, rich or 
poor, and mention the Almighty to him or 
her, and see the result : either a blank and 
uncomprehending stare will be the result, 
or an inane giggle, followed by a bored and 
long-suffering expression. Is not that blas- 
phemy? Not from the child, whose fault 
it is not, but from the people who are 
responsible for that child and its upbringing. 

100 



RELIGION 

I have travelled in many lands, but only 
in English-speaking countries have I found 
the name of God treated with so little 
respect and understanding amongst the 
young. And yet we call ourselves Christians, 
the meaning of which word is followers after 
Christ. Children are the most reasonable of 
creatures, and give them really strong and 
beautiful reasons for everything they are 
asked to do, and they will cling to those 
reasons with the greatest of strength and 
faith. Surely if we could conquer our curi- 
ous aversion to bringing God's name into 
our daily lives, except when we wish to take 
it in vain, it would make a wonderful differ- 
ence in the rearing of our children — to try 
and make Him into a real and living 
presence, to help and strengthen in work 
and play, not merely a Name to be bored, 
frowned, and laughed at ; and I feel certain 
education would show the most surprising 
results. It is indeed difficult to understand 
that any one can seriously believe that the 
manner in which religion is taught to 

101 



DANCING, BEAUTY, AND GAMES 

children in our schools and homes can ever 
have any influence or be of any help to 
them in their future lives, still less in their 
work at school. 

I imagine the question that might be 
asked is : What have the Almighty and school- 
work to do with each other ? Personally, I 
think the answer is, ' Everything.' Unless 
the feeling of God's presence and help is 
made a real thing to children in the little 
worries, difficulties, and joys of childhood, 
unless they learn to turn to Him in those 
small trials, they are not, I think, likely when 
the large troubles of manhood and woman- 
hood come along to look for help and 
comfort in the only direction from which it 
can come. 

The feeling of His nearness ought never 
to be absent, whether it is a sum to be 
struggled with or a page of history to be 
conquered ; the sum is struggled with and 
the page of history conquered, not because 
of the punishment that might occur other- 
wise, but because a brain has been given to 

102 



RELIGION 

us to be taken care of and developed to the 
best of our ability, and that to neglect to 
develop it is to show that a trust God has 
given us has been misplaced. 

Later in life, when it is not a sum or 
a page of history that is our difficulty or 
temptation, the habit of feeling the nearness 
of God's presence and the responsibility to 
Him will surely prove a very great and 
real help. 

Let us at least try to give our children 
something more than a name to hold by in 
their hours of darkness and trouble, and if 
people who ' having eyes see not and having 
ears hear not,' cry Idealism and Utopianism, 
let us take no heed, for all things are 
possible, even Utopia. 



London ; Strnvgrvayit, Printei-s, 



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